Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Save The Date!

Saturday, May 12th at the Denver Pavilion in City Park, you can have some great beer for a great cause.. helping to raise money for The Puppy Rescue Mission, which raises money to reunite soldiers and their dogs.

Complimentary food and drinks are provided by The Ale House and Breckenridge Brewery.  Visit www.brewsforbarks.com to reserve your tickets!  They are only 30 bucks for food and drink plus live bands.  Only 300 tickets will be sold so get yours now!

Saturday, March 24, 2012

1 Year Old Male Pyr Needs a Foster or Forever Home - Meet Franklin!


Franklin was transported to CO on March 17th from OK where he had been at a shelter since early January.  When he was found as stray he had severe mange, but it has since been treated and cleared up and his hair is growing back.  He has been neutered, is up to date on all of his shots, has been micro-chipped and is potty trained.  He is around 1 year old and about 70#.

Franklin is an extremely friendly, sweet, playful, and loving boy who is full of energy.  Franklin responds well to redirection; he is in the process of learning "sit." He loves to play with toys and his bone...not to mention that he LOVES to chase his tail.  He would do best with an owner who has some space for him to run around and get his energy out.  If he isn't an only pup, he'd do well with other active, young dogs.  He does really well on walks; I'd recommend continuing to walk him with his harness as he does squirm a bit and could easily slip out of this collar.  He is full of love and life and can't wait to find his forever home.  

If you are interested in either adding Franklin to your family, or fostering (or know someone who might be), please email us at coloradopyr@gmail.com and we will get you in touch with the right people!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Getting Ready For Warm Weather

Spring is here, and summer is soon to follow!  There are several ways we can get our Great Pyrenees ready for the coming seasons!  Here is an important check list of sorts, to ensure you are ready for the great warm weather to follow!

  • Purchase an undercoat rake.  This will help lift up all that undercoat that is ready to shed away to reveal that lighter, warmer weather fluff!  
  • Consider any events or trips where your Pyr may be exposed to direct sunlight.  While they do not have skin that is readily exposed, often their noses can become sunburned from prolonged exposure to the sun.  Purchasing a sunblock formulated for either dogs or human infants is a safe way to go!
  • Remember when walking your dog on warmer days, to take a moment to reach down and feel the pavement with your hand. Because we wear shoes, it's easy to forget our friends do not.   Remember their paws can be damaged by hot cement or streets, and it's important to not forget to feel what their paws are treading on!
  • Get your Pyr back on heartworm preventative, if they've been off (Year-round heartworm preventive is recommended).  Don't wait for the scorch of mid-summer to address preventing heartworm.  If they've been off of heartworm seasonally, it's advisable to get them tested for heartworm to ensure they are negative before you place them back on preventative.
  • Get prepared for long walks, by having water bottles and a receptacle to pour water into.
  • Remember, NEVER shave your Great Pyrenees!  Many owners think by ridding them of their heavy coats, they'll be better suited for warm weather.  Their coats play an important role in keeping their body temperatures proper, and they also protect their skin from the sun.  Their fur helps insulate them against warm weather as well as cold.
  • A great snack and way to cool your Pyr off is offering them ice cubes.  Many dogs love this as a fun snack, and it also helps cool them from the inside out!
We hope you and your dogs are looking forward to a fantastic spring and summer!

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Need a Home for Lady

Lady is only 1 year old.  She was abandon when the neighbors across the street moved and left her.  Lady and her pups were being cared for by some neighbors, but they already had 3 Great Pyrenees, so it wasn't really an ideal situation.  Additionally, they lived near a busy county road, so the fear was that Lady would get hit by a car...

Unfortunately all of Lady's puppies died of a very deadly strain of Parvo, but sweet Lady still needs a home.  She is being fostered through Animal Rescue of the Rockies, so you can either contact them directly, or email us at coloradopyr@gmail.com and we will get you in touch with the right people!

Pyrs Coming to CO on March 17th Need Fosters!

The following sweet babies will be on their way to Colorado this coming weekend (March 17th), but only if they have fosters when they get here!

If you are interested in fostering or adopting any of the dogs below please email us at coloradopyr@gmail.com and we will put you in touch with the right people.  Animal Rescue of the Rockies will be facilitating their transport and adoption!

1 year old, 70# Great Pyrenees a lady called in as being a stray.  She was afraid he would attack her small dog and needed help getting him out of her yard.  One of the animal shelter volunteers went out and found the dog, only to find out what terrible shape he was in.  He had mange so severe that he couldn't even stand for long periods.  The mange caused horrendous swelling in his feet.  It was not only on his feet, but his belly, rear, tail, ears, face, and around his eyes.  That is when the shelter learned of his wonderfully, loving disposition and knew they had to do everything they could to get this sweet boy back on his feet.

Franklin has overcome the mange and is starting to grow his hair back in all the right places.  He is an awesome boy who adores human companion ship.  Franklin does great with other dogs, but doesn't so much love kitties.  He is also absolutely wonderful on leash!

2 year old, 65# Great Pyrenees.  He is somewhat aloof when he first meets people, but he will start to warm up.  He has been a LSG his whole life, so there may be some dogs he sees as a threat.  However, he did interact very well with a female Schnauzer mix.  He wanted to play with her and get to know her.  For the most part, he ignores the other dogs at the shelter, but he has not yet been cat-tested, nor has he been around kids, so we don't know how he is with either of them.

2 year old 60# Great Pyrenees who has been adopted our and brought back.  She is a sweet and loving girl who only wants to be loved and doted on.  She was brought back because she likes to chase deer.  Sue is great with children, house-trained, awesome on a leash and loves to be with other dogs when she is not with her human.  She prefers not to be in the company of feline friends.  She would like to continue to be an inside doggie!

Friday, March 9, 2012

The Importance of Healthy Vet Visits

Vet bills are a drag.  Most of us are so accustomed to health insurance for ourselves, with a co-pay that lives happily within our budgets.  While there is pet insurance available for our animals, it seems more often than not, owners to not have insurance.

It seems as though you can't leave the veterinarian's office without spending over $100.00 on a healthy animal. Many people wait, and take their animals to the doctor when they seem to not be feeling so well.  It can be hard for these owners to justify the expense when they feel their animal is doing well.

All animals need a yearly visit to the vet.  Even if you don't want to pursue annual bloodwork, it's important to get your pet in front of a veterinarian.  There may be things going on that you can't "see", or that you think are not important.  Small changes in mobility may hint towards impending arthritis, and things like a heart murmur may warn of a condition that looms.  There may be conditions your dog's breed is prone to, and that small bump you think means nothing may have much more significance for your dog.

When you think of your animal, draw an analogy to your house.  That small imperfection in your plumbing or your roof may not seem like much now, but left unattended may turn into a situation that will cost a lot more time, money, and emotion.

Being proactive is key.  Animals cannot speak, so spending the money on annual bloodwork will help us understand what's really going on in their bodies.  If your animal is taking medication, it's key to check how their liver and their kidney are keeping up.  Our animals may be nearing the age where arthritis is possible, and while we think they seem fine, they may in fact be suffering from some degree of daily pain.

Too often owners are taken off guard by their animal's condition.  All of a sudden they are not well.  You find yourself at a clinic facing hospitalization and medications you didn't anticipate.  While being diligent with your annual visits may not put off such an event, they give a great record of health.

Imagine your 10 year old dog or cat never saw a vet's office because to you, they always seemed fine.  Now afflicted with a potential illness or disease, there is no history what-so-ever about organ function up until this point.  Your vet struggles to understand how acute their condition is, or how quickly it's progressed.

I recall the horrible food recall from pet foods manufactured in China from about 5 or so years ago.  Animals suffered with organ failure, and there was a class action lawsuit.  I spoke to my vet at the time, and he was sad.  He was sad, because too many animals had no history up until that point.  If they presented with kidney failure, there was no definitive, legal way to prove the food had caused it.  Without history, the animal in question could have easily been in failure already.  He was so happy to work with clients who had previous history so as to certify they were victims of this horrible food.

Owners wait ages on addressing their animal's teeth.  By the time the owners notice horrible breath and perhaps difficulty chewing, the mouth may already have a myriad of issues.  Now facing extractions and the like, the vet bill is now easily nearing $1000.00.  While an annual dental may still cost a few hundred dollars, it keeps the animal healthy and avoids the pain and cost of waiting.

Put money aside for your pet.  I know it's easier said than done.  Anticipate that every animal needs a 'rainy day' fund of a few thousand dollars.  If you don't need it for a long time, great.  Eventually all animals age and will need medications and more frequent vet visits.  If you are unable or unwilling to do this, pet ownership needs to be reconsidered before the pet is adopted.

It's not to say that only "rich" people should own pets, but rather we should be willing to find ways to cut back on our monthly expenses to accommodate the long term health of our pets.  I heard a woman lamenting about the $100.00 per month expense of her dog's newly prescribed medications.  She asked me if owners should euthanize when faced with these costs.  Everything in me wanted to suggest she go without a trip to the salon every once and a while.  This, is what loving owners need to be willing to do for the family member they love.

And why are the vet bills so high?  Veterinarians love their patients.  They don't wish to make care prohibitive or impossible.  I can promise you that no one cares for animals because they seek to get rich.  Sadly, these are just what things cost.  If your pet needs a specialist, the costs will be higher.  The fancy, amazing gadgets we use to save a life cost money to purchase and run.  The amazing, additional experience your specialists have, cost them money to attain. 

I've heard feedback that owners feel their doctors order unnecessary tests which drive up their costs.  I think it's key to understand that the best way to treat an animal is to understand what is going on in their bodies.  Often times, certain conditions can be caused by or made worse by other conditions.  Doctors have to play detective.  I urge owners to be vocal!  Ask questions about 'why' tests are run, and what it means if they are not.  It can seem that every additional diagnostic drives the bill up by the hundreds, and it's frustrating.  Do your homework; shop around for affordable veterinarians (within reason... you do *get* what you pay for) and shop around for avenues for cheaper medications.

Above all, be proactive.  Commit to preventing illness in any way you can.  Obesity and poor nutrition are huge components that are within our influence.  Ignored ear infections or ignored behaviors can lead to larger issues.  Sometimes our pets can begin to act differently, and we think it's behavioral when really it may be their only way to tell us they don't feel great.  New aggression, frustration, and changes in eating habits may not be indicative of not liking the home or the food provided, rather something else going on that leaves them not feeling well.  Animals don't want to be touched if they are painful. When our cats and dogs are "seniors", ensure they get annual or bi-annual visits *before* they start to feel bad.

-Shannon Murphy